Diego Brandao allegedly fought with employees outside an Albuquerque, N.M., strip club before returning to the club and threatening the group with a firearm last Thursday evening.
The UFC featherweight was arrested on Friday on three felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was released on Saturday from the Metropolitan Detention Center on $15,000 bond; The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office will decide if it will pursue the case against Brandao.
According to an arrest warrant, Brandao appeared to be intoxicated and was arguing with a DJ inside Knockouts in downtown Albuquerque. Brandao left the bar and was denied re-entry due to his behavior. Knockouts employee Anthony Romero said that Brandao then “attempted to force his way in by throwing punches at him and other employees at the front door.” Patrick Otero, another employee, and Lavon King, a customer, attempted to assist Romero in keeping Brandao from re-entering the club. Brandao continued to throw punches at the group until Romero was able to push Brandao out and lock the door, according to the warrant.
King later identified Brandao as “the UFC guy” and said he knew Brandao because the fighter had come into the club several times previously. King told police he saw Brandao leave and then return with a gun, which he used to threaten the group outside the club.
“Lavon [King] stated that he pointed the gun at his chest and yelled at the group,” the warrant read. “Lavon stated that Diego then pointed the gun at Patrick’s face and then struck him in the face with the firearm. Lavon stated that he [Brandao] pointed the gun at the three of them again and then went back to the vehicle. Lavon did state he was in fear of losing his life during the altercation.”
Meanwhile, Otero told police that he attempted to calm Brandao down, “but Diego turned the firearm to him and pointed it at his head.” Brandao asked Otero why he didn’t help him before striking the club employee the butt of the firearm on his chin. The blow resulted in a “small abrasion” to Otero’s chin. Otero said Brandao walked back to his vehicle and pointed the gun at the group once more before leaving the area.
A full copy of the arrest warrant, obtained by MMAjunkie.com, can be viewed here.
Brandao, who trains at Jackson-Wink MMA, last competed at UFC 195 in Las Vegas on Jan. 2, when he was submitted in the third round by Brian Ortega. He tested positive for marijuana during an in-competition drug test prior to the defeat. He is expected to appear today before the Nevada Athletic Commission for a disciplinary hearing.